Mitigating Coal Use in South Africa


by Monkgogi Bonolo Otlhogile

South Africa has been cited as one of the most energy intensive countries in Africa due to its large mining sector and it has been difficult to tackle carbon dioxide emissions as mining contributes to 60% of South Africa’s exports (World Development Indicators, 2012).The biggest problem for South Africa has come in the form of its coal reserves, which are the largest in Africa. South Africa relies on its coal reserves for 67% of its energy use, which has resulted in South Africa becoming one of the largest carbon dioxide emitters in the world, alongside its fellow BRICS nations (World Development Indicators, 2012). However, Eskom, South Africa’s public electricity utility company, has begun investing in renewable energy and has plans for three wind farms across South Africa (2014). In the mean time, Eskom and scholars alike have been trying to promote energy efficiency and the divestment of large industries from coal. 

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